What is FU Money? The True Power of an FU Fund

What does FU money mean?

This can especially be useful when you:

  • Have to take care of personal or family matter
  • Cannot deal with things like the toxic culture at work and terrible bosses
  • Get laid off
  • Want to take a mini-retirement
  • Wish to make a career change

You can simply walk out that door and say goodbye to your old job without worrying to pay your bills in the next 12 months or so.

But another great side-effect of having FU money is that you feel empowered.

Someone with F/U money may feel more confident to set boundaries for themselves – for instance speaking up to your boss when you get too much workload.


My Mindset Robbed Me of the Glory

In my mind, I picture myself stepping outside and feeling the warm sun on my face and the gentle breeze on my skin. Then pondering the question, “What will I do next?“. My mindset robbed me of that glory.

Thankfully we didn’t need my salary to pay our bills. We had cash in the bank and a large pile of FU money. We just didn’t call it that at the time.

In addition to investments, my husband’s newly formed business would cover my missing salary for a while. When my severance ran out, I would start the new job I lined up. Although, as I mentioned above, that never happened.

There are certainly worse places to be, and I don’t deny those facts. I am grateful for all that we have and all that we’d built. It’s easy to see others who aren’t so lucky.

I wish I viewed our money for what it was truly worth. Not the dollars and cents value, but the mental boost it could have provided during that dark time.

FU Money and Financial Independence (FI)

The FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early) spawned FU money, but it’s not exactly the same. Most of the people with this type of money are still working. Heck, many of them enjoy what they do.

But this extra money is a bonus that gives them the ability to work with lower stress. How would you feel knowing that at any time you could walk away?

You’d probably have a different attitude at work, right?

You wouldn’t have to worry about being fired or staying in a bad situation or toxic work environment because you could walk at any time.

That’s a nice feeling to have… the freedom to leave and pursue whatever you want whenever you want. 

It’s too bad that’s a freedom that most of us don’t actually have.

My Layoff

It was a strange series of events that led to my last day of work; a pregnancy, a switch to a different location, a manager and director I’d met just a few months earlier.

Although the economy was recovering from the Great Recession, it didn’t stop the currents of reorganization from shifting around us. I’d survived many rounds of layoffs and parted ways with many coworkers. Our company’s departments were routinely being sliced and diced to a fraction of their former size.

I switched to a new team in a new department while all of this was happening. I never imagined my company would create a job posting for a position they planned to cut six months later. Yet that’s exactly what my company did.

As they say, in the corporate world, layoffs aren’t personal. This was business. If I stayed with my last team, I would still have a job. My prior manager knew my qualifications, skills, and passion for work. I knew that at heart, but somehow that knowledge didn’t soothe my peace of mind.

Who Needs FU Money?

Everyone should pursue FU money in some capacity. Not everyone will reach it and not everyone will have the same amount or time frame to get there. And It’s also based on personal situations and the efforts put in to reach this status. 

But even if you love your work and job, building an FU money foundation can help you decide if you rather work a part-time job, choose a different place of work or take a break, start your own business, or even help you retire early. 

But having this kind of money saved can also protect you in case something does happen to your company where you lose the job you enjoy.

The last thing you want to do is scramble to figure out how to pay bills, groceries, and your rent or mortgage. 

Why FU Money Matters To Me

I was in a work scenario back in 2014, where I was dissatisfied with my career but I had a few things going against me. 

  • My resume was all over the place
  • I was applying for jobs but not hearing back
  • I had plenty of debt still and no real savings 

Fortunately, I did not have a bad manager or team but I was stuck in a cube farm that did not pay well. 

But I still was early every day and always did my work well. And then a few weeks before Christmas 2014, I was laid off along with hundreds of others. 

Naturally, I was in a panic because who is going to hire me over the holidays? Additionally, I had no money saved and I was living in an apartment on my own already living paycheck to paycheck. Most of this was my own fault for being an unprepared twenty-something. 

Fortunately, I did have severance pay with the company for a few weeks and was able to get some freelance consulting work.

But that moment of financial stress helped me get on a better financial path and to ensure I never felt this way again. And that’s where my own FU money journey began. 

Dan Lok Programs

Besides his many books, Dan Lok has different programs and product offerings.

High-Ticket Closer™ Certification Program

As it says on Dan’s website, “This is not a sales program. The psychology of conventional sales and High-Ticket Closing™ are worlds apart. The latter requires a higher level of finesse and intellect.”

This is an intensive 7-week mentorship program where Dan takes you through the strategies, skills, and mindset needed to close high-ticket sales.

Cost: $2,495

Tube Your Own Horn

Dan says that YouTube is what took him from a local Canadian businessman to an “international mentor to millions.” This program will show you how he became so successful on YouTube.

This is a 6-week mentorship program where Dan will walk users through the Tube Your Own Horn lessons step by step.

Cost: $1,995

High-Ticket Influencer

This program is for influencers already making $300,000 or more and who want to scale up to a million-dollar business. This is a 12-week course that show you how to use social media to attract more customers, be the “top dog” with social capital, how to create irresistible videos on YouTube and much more.

This is a program that you have to apply for and get accepted into.

Financial Independence FU Money

Financial Independence FU money (FIRE money) is the next pot to fill after you’ve built up short-term FU money.

Once most high-income professionals learn about the concept of financial independence / retire early (FIRE), many start to take the road to get their ASAP. 

There’s two ways to do it:

  •  The Accumulation Method
  •  The Cash Flow Method

#1. The Accumulation Method

A lot of people are familiar with this method when it comes to building wealth. It typically involves working with a financial advisor to “accumulate” a large pile of money so you can live off of happily ever after.

In order to make this happen, investing as early and aggressively as possible is the key to success. 

Most financial gurus teach that you’ll need to accumulate roughly 25x your personal annual expenses. For instance, if they total $180,000 ($15K/month), then your FIRE number conservatively would need to be $4,500,000 (25 x $180,000).

This is the part where the 4% rule becomes important. 

The 4% Rule

According to Investopedia:

This rule is used to determine how much a retiree should withdraw from a retirement account each year without running out of money. 

It was originally created using historical data on stock and bond returns over the 50-year period from 1926 to 1976.

It seeks to provide a steady income stream to the retiree while also maintaining an account balance that keeps income flowing through retirement. 

In our example above, this person could withdraw 4% of the $4.5M ($180,000) annually without the need to work or bring in any more income.

#2. The Cash Flow Method

Instead of spending years attempting to accumulate a big pile of dough to live off of, this method shortens the time horizon to allow you to reach FIRE much quicker. 

I don’t know about you, but it would take the average person virtually their entire career working to accumulate $4.5M.

Now I understand that they could drastically lower their expenses but who wants to work their whole life and resort to living like a monk? No thanks.

One of the more popular methods to invest for cash flow is by using real estate.

In this example, I’m going to use what I’m most familiar with, passive real estate investing via syndications

At a 7% cash flow rate, only $2.5 million would produce $175,000 per year in distributions virtually tax free.

How? The benefits of depreciation offsets most of the monthly income.

Here’s the other benefit. The original $2.5M invested in real estate will continue to appreciate even though you’re living off the $175,000/year. 

If you had a mutual fund worth the same $2.5 million, you’d have to pay capital gain taxes with each distribution taken.

Also, depending on what the stock market is doing when you take money out, you may start to dip into the principal.

Again, not with a syndication investment.

Now I hope you understand the power of investing for cash flow for an endless supply of FU money!

Difference between Emergency Fund and FU Money?

Emergency funds are money set aside to pay unexpected expenses such as car repair, medical expenses, and unemployment. The funds keep you afloat when you need them without having to go into debt.

What amount of money is “FU Money”?

FU money typically amounts to much less than peopl

FU money typically amounts to much less than people think. If you live below your means, it is relatively easy to accumulate FU money.

And remember, FU money is about financial independence for a period of time, not necessarily enough for your entire life. If you can quit working for the man and live your life without money stress for six months, that’s a remarkable achievement. Most people can’t do that.

Check out this Quora discussion on what FU money is. It’s a fun read, and a couple quotes immediately jump out at me:

Michael Wolfe says:

“The minimum for f–k you money is enough that you will never have to work again but with a reasonable lifestyle: nice house, health care, vacations, enough to send your kids to good schools, etc.”

Though I disagree with the “never have to work again” part, I do agree with the general sentiment.

Jon Mertz writes:

“When you need to walk away from a company, this pot of money provides a basis to make a transition to a new one.”

To me, Jon’s comment hits the nail squarely on its head. Please note that the new “job” could be retirement instead of another company.

Learn how I retired at the age of 35

Dan Lok Complaints

I found a lot of people who complain about Dan Lok, calling him a scam artist, a con and a poser. I found something interesting about a lot of these people though. We’ll discuss in a minute.

The complainers said things like:

  • Dan’s program is a pyramid scheme
  • I’m pretty sure Dan is a fake guru
  • I think it’s a scam, but I haven’t taken his courses
  • Prior to his online teaching, I doubt he was truly rich
  • You can learn everything he teaches from YouTube

Some people did go through his course(s) and didn’t find value in it, and that’s fine. Not all courses are going to be good for everyone.

I have an issue with a lot of the complaints I saw. I have no skin in the game because I haven’t gone through Dan’s courses and I’m not promoting them in any way. I just thought it was interesting that a lot of the complainers (and there were a lot and they were pretty hateful) didn’t go through Dan’s courses.

I posted some of the things above…”I’m pretty sure Dan is a fake guru”, “I think it’s a scam, but I haven’t taken his courses”, “I doubt he was truly rich.”

These people have no idea about anything. And these are the type of people that will just follow along with an idea just because.

This is dangerous and will keep you broke and stuck right where you are.

If there’s one thing I learned looking into Dan Lok, it’s to make sure not to think something just because someone else thinks it.

Use your own mind and come to your own conclusions.

How Much Is Considered F You Money?

Based on over 8,500 votes in the Financial Samurai poll below, $5 million is the #1 vote-getter to feel financially free. To be clear, $5 million is the minimum net worth hurdle, not the maximum.

I personally chose $10 million because $10 million is what’s necessary to generate ~$240,000 in risk-free income based on today’s risk-free rate of return. However, by taking slightly more risk, $10 million should be able to generate up to $400,000 a year to live the F You Lifestyle.

Therefore, between $5 million to $10 million seems like a reasonable minimum range before you can consider having F You Money. The more expensive of a location you live in, the higher the hurdle and vice versa. Just don’t forget to keep up with roaring inflation.

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What is FU Money to You?

That’s my story of just how powerful FU money can be in your life. And how it could be in yours.

  • Offer protection in a time of need
  • The confidence to say “no” in work and relationships
  • An ability to take risk when it makes sense

But what about you?

Have you used FU money to make a major change in your life or look risk in the eye with a rational prognosis in mind and take a chance?

How did it turn out for you?

Now that you’ve learned what FU money can do to give you freedom and control within your life, what can you change to make it available—and use it?

Let me know in the comments!

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Thankful To The Gatekeepers And The Detractors

Even after all the rejections I experienced, I’ve got no desire to tell my rejectors to F Off because they all have their own issues. Even the nastiest folks need empathy because we often project our problems onto others.

We should be more thankful to our gatekeepers and detractors. Without them, life might be too easy. And when life is too easy, we stop appreciating what we have.

Oh, but I do want to say this. For those of you who don’t pick up your dog’s poop and allow your dogs to bark incessantly at night or in the early hours of the morning, F You! Please be more considerate.

For everybody else, let’s have peace on Earth. After this damn pandemic and now the tragic war in Ukraine, being more forgiving and nicer sounds like a good idea.


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